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insignia

[in-sig-nee-uh]
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noun, formally a plural of insigne, but usually used as a singular with plural in·sig·ni·a or in·sig·ni·as.
  1. a badge or distinguishing mark of office or honor: a military insignia.
  2. a distinguishing mark or sign of anything: an insignia of mourning.
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Also insigne.

Origin of insignia

1640–50; < Latin, plural of insigne mark, badge, noun use of neuter of insignis distinguished (by a mark); see in-2, sign

Usage note

Insignia, originally the plural of Latin insigne, began to be used as a singular in the 18th century, and the plural insignias appeared shortly thereafter. All uses— insignia as a singular or plural and insignias as a plural—are fully standard. The singular insigne still occurs, but insignia is more common.

insigne

[in-sig-nee]
noun
  1. singular of insignia.
  2. insignia.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for insignia

paraphernalia, badge, symbol, ensign, decoration, regalia, earmark, crest, mark

Examples from the Web for insignia

Contemporary Examples of insignia

Historical Examples of insignia


British Dictionary definitions for insignia

insignia

noun plural -nias or -nia
  1. a badge or emblem of membership, office, or dignity
  2. a distinguishing sign or mark
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Also called (rare): insigne (ɪnˈsɪɡniː)

Word Origin for insignia

C17: from Latin: marks, badges, from insignis distinguished by a mark, prominent, from in- ² + signum mark
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for insignia

n.

1640s, from Latin insignia, neuter plural of insigne "badge, mark," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + signum "mark" (see sign). Singular is insigne.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper